Background: Established in honor of its founder, The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF) operates at the intersection of architecture, engineering, real estate development, construction, women's history, and architectural history. With a rich legacy of media creation, programs, and events, BWAF is committed to empowering women and shaping the future of the built environment. BWAF achieves its mission by researching and documenting women’s contributions and achievements in the built realm, educating the public, creating a supportive and innovative community through support and engagement, and by transforming industry practices.
Although nearly half of architectural graduates are women, firm leadership and industry recognition remain gendered. Only two women have been awarded the AIA Gold Medal; only thirty percent of firm principals are women; only one in four guest lecturers in architecture schools is female. Although there has been improvement in representation in the two decades since Beverly Willis founded BWAF, the rate of change is alarmingly slow. The Foundation seeks a passionate and dynamic leader to transform the industry, to bring the contributions of women to the forefront—in equitable advancement, pay, praise, and celebration.
The Position: BWAF is seeking an accomplished, passionate, and visionary Executive Director to lead the organization in achieving its mission and expanding its impact. The Executive Director will be responsible for executing the strategic vision, managing legacy initiatives, driving fundraising efforts, overseeing programmatic resources, representing BWAF with key stakeholders, and ensuring the day-to-day administration runs smoothly. The Executive Director will have strong interpersonal skills, excellent written and oral communication skills, be approachable and open to new ideas, and be an active and engaged problem-solver. The successful candidate must be able to work independently as well as collaboratively in a supportive and direct manner with a minimum of ego. In addition, they will be diplomatic, of the highest integrity, and possess sound judgment.
In collaboration with the Board, the Executive Director will work to set organizational priorities, fundraising targets, and develop and articulate the Foundation’s vision going forward, translating its mission into programs and resources that positively support and influence the visibility and leadership of women in the industry.
Responsibilities: Leadership/Board Management:
In partnership with the Board, provide leadership and strategic direction for BWAF that covers overall programmatic, financial, and operational systems, policy, and practices
Cultivate a strong working relationship with the Board and staff based on trust, confidence, and transparency, encouraging collaboration in pursuit of organizational effectiveness and growth
Maintain strong financial oversight including annual budgets and quarterly financial reports; set long- and short-term financial objectives facilitating sustainable growth
Engage the Board in meaningful participation that will facilitate communication of a clear and sustainable vision, mission, and strategy for BWAF
With the Board President, actively engage in identifying and recruiting potential Board members to meet the organization’s needs and demographics of the community
Serve as chief relationship builder and lead major gifts fundraiser while supporting cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship with all current and new donors
Create and pursue a strong fundraising plan that ensures the growth of a diversified funding stream, both event and non-event, including individual gifts, corporate, Friends membership revenue, foundation support, and grants
Oversee all marketing and public relations activities, including social media, effectively communicating the mission and work of BWAF
Drive engagement through focused programming
Oversee the establishment and implementation of strategic communications that provide a clear and concise message that builds awareness about the mission and programming
Represent BWAF at industry events, and engage with relevant organizations to position BWAF as authoritative and its programming as essential
Work with the Board to build donor loyalty, as well as to expand the reach of BWAF in new communities, increasing audience diversity
Evaluate the success of the organization’s programming while staying current on programmatic trends in architecture, building, engineering, and design
Incorporate stakeholder interests and feedback to refine current and develop new and innovative programs
Oversee existing media resources, including websites, videos, exhibitions, and scholarly digital platforms, ensuring their visibility, influence, and relevance
Together with the Board, enhance the programming identity for the organization by setting and communicating BWAF’s vision
Research and develop new programming, exhibitions, and services
Manage daily operational activities; oversee general office management
Provide leadership and set quality standards while promoting a culture that reflects the BWAF’s values
Recruit, employ, and evaluate staff, interns, and consultants
As described above, the Executive Director will be an experienced and visionary leader who is enthusiastic about supporting and strengthening the Foundation, its mission, and its programming.
Proven senior nonprofit management experience; experience in cultural institutions preferred
Entrepreneurial and innovative builder who has had success growing an organization with oversight of daily operations, including strategic planning
Accomplished fundraiser at ease with all aspects of fundraising and proven success in the role of seeking and asking for individual and major gifts, as well as securing grants and sponsorships; proven success in diversifying revenue streams
Strong financial and operational acumen to grow and maintain a financially stable and sustainable organization including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting
Demonstrated ability in public relations, including branding and marketing to enhance organizational visibility and positioning
In-depth knowledge of and/or experience in architecture, engineering, design, construction industries, women's history, and architectural history
A deep understanding of the built environment professions and women's leadership
An adaptable mindset to respond to evolving opportunities for growth and innovation
Ability to provide dynamic, visionary, and credible advocacy for BWAF to ensure its continued excellence and provision of programs
Superior writing and verbal communication skills with the ability to serve as a persuasive spokesperson for BWAF
Strong organizational skills: flexible, able to focus, prioritize and implement, as well as address and meet challenges
For more information about the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, please visit their website at https://bwaf.org
All positions at The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. All are encouraged to apply.
The annual salary range for this position is $140,000-160,000.
To Apply: The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations and applications may be directed in confidence to: Jack Lusk, Managing Partner & CEO Harris Rand Lusk 260 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor New York, NY 10016
Email your resume and cover letter to Sabrina Stoker at: firstname.lastname@example.org Please put “BWAF ED” in the subject line of your emailed application.
Established in honor of its founder, The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation operates at the intersection of architecture, engineering, real estate development, construction, women's history, and architectural history. With a rich legacy of media creation, programs, and events, BWAF is committed to empowering women and shaping the future of the built environment.